This recipe for chocolate dipped peppermint shortbread cookies is sure to become a family favorite. Some links in this post are affiliate links that earn me a commission if you purchase through them.
I have a mild obsession with chocolate, especially peppermint and chocolate together. Whether that’s making homemade peppermint hot chocolate, peppermint bark, or straight up chocolate peppermint cookies, I’m hooked.
When I had to come up with a cookie for a cookie exchange, of course I went with a peppermint theme. These peppermint shortbread cookies take a traditional easy shortbread recipe, dip it in chocolate, then add the peppermint bite.
These cookies are relatively easy to make, and one batch bakes on the same tray, which saves time. Crush up candy canes or peppermint candies, and you’ll be munching in no time.
These peppermint shortbread cookies come as part of a virtual cookie exchange. Read more about Houseful of Cookies and check out more delicious Christmas cookies at the end of this article.
Pro Tips to Make Peppermint Shortbread Cookies
While you don’t want to completely roll out your cookies, as this makes them more dense, you will need to roll them lightly to ensure they’re even. First, however, use your clean hands to press the dough into a rectangle as close to 9 inches by 13 inches as you can. Basically, try to get to within a half inch to an inch of your jelly roll pan on each edge as you can.
To roll your dough to an even thickness, use a rolling pin with roller guides, or just pick up some ring spacers for your rolling pin. These get your dough the right thickness, and they prevent your rolling one side too thin and leaving another part too thick.
Break up your peppermint with a rolling pin while your cookies bake. Just put them in a thick plastic bag and whack away so that they’re ready when you need them.
Use a pizza wheel to cut your cookies as soon as they come from the oven in the first bake. The pizza wheel cuts through them easily and gives you the control you need to keep your lines straight.
I may or may not sometimes use a ruler to help me make straight lines. Just lightly hold the ruler in place with one hand and run the ruler along the cookies with another. Most of the time, I freehand this, however, and they work out great.
After you cut the cookies, return them to the oven to finish baking. Turn off the oven and leave the cookies in it to cool, but crack open the door so the heat can start to escape.
On that same note, you want to make those fork pokes as soon as you cut your cookies, too. This ensures you get that traditional shortbread marking, and it doesn’t take much effort to do so.
Once they cool to room temperature, you can easily break them apart for the next steps.
Dip only a few cookies at a time, especially in cooler weather. If you dip them all, the chocolate will be hardened when you go to add the peppermint. Instead, dip a row, then top them with peppermint. Wash, rinse, and repeat.
Know that while your cookies all baked on on sheet, when you cut them up, you will need more space. I just put out two silpats, and this provides the perfect amount of space I need to make my 26 cookies.
Plus, the peppermint shortbread cookies don’t stick to the silpat, which makes it easy to serve or store them once I finish making them. If you don’t have a silpat, use parchment paper – and have you seen the kind that comes precut? Winning!
What Chocolate Should I Use for Dipping?
The most important consideration? You want to use high quality chocolate, not the usual grocery store chocolate chips.
High quality chocolate will melt smoothly and evenly, while those chocolate chips will hold their shape and not stir well. If you have to use grocery store chocolate chips, add a touch of vegetable oil (less than a teaspoon at a time) to the chocolate to help smooth it.
Too much oil will keep the chocolate from hardening again. But use good chocolate – it tastes better anyway!
I prefer to use dark chocolate because I like that contrast better, but if you prefer milk chocolate, that will also work. It’s definitely a sweeter dessert with milk chocolate.
I prefer to use a bar of dark chocolate and chop it with my knife before I melt it, but you can also use callets that melt equally well. The key is to get the chocolate into relatively small pieces so that it melts evenly without scorching.
Chocolate has a very low melting point, which is why I prefer to melt my chocolate on the stove over low heat while stirring it rather than putting it in the microwave. I stir until most of the chocolate melts, then remove it from the stove and let the residual heat finish things off.
But. If you want to use the microwave, you can. Just make sure that you heat it in short increments and stir each time you check to ensure you don’t scorch your chocolate.
And most importantly? You will have leftover chocolate, because you can’t dip a cookie into the last bit of chocolate. Soooo use that extra chocolate and crush some extra candy canes to make peppermint bark – two desserts with minimal effort!
How to Make Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Shortbread Cookies
Making the peppermint shortbread cookie dough
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Add a silpat or parchment paper to a cookie sheet.
Ensure your butter is at room temperature, and mix it to start to incorporate some air. Add the powdered sugar and salt, and start to beat first at low speed, then gradually increasing as the sugar incorporates.
Once fully combined, add the flour. Mix it together on low speed. The flour will make this a very dry dough that resembles sand rather than a smooth dough. You have not made a mistake, so don’t panic.
Squeeze the dough together between two fingers to verify that it holds together, then use your hands to gently push it together to form one ball of dough.
Place the ball on the lined cookie sheet and carefully press the dough out into an even layer. Keep massaging it out until you have an approximately 9×13 rectangle. Gently roll a rolling pin over it to ensure it’s even and to remove any fingerprints.
Baking the shortbread cookies
Bake the peppermint shortbread cookies for 20 minutes at 325 degrees.
Remove the cookies from the oven after 20 minutes and use a pizza wheel to cut the cookies into approximately 1 1/4″ by 3″ rectangles. They don’t have to be exact, but this is a traditional shape.
Use a fork to gently prick each cookie twice, and as quickly as possible, return the peppermint shortbread cookies to the oven.
Bake for another 8 minutes at 325 degrees, just until the edges start to turn golden. Turn off the oven, but leave the cookies inside with the door cracked open for at least an hour.
Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and verify that the cookies are fully cooled. Carefully break them apart, and yes, taste test the edges.
Dipping the peppermint shortbread cookies
Carefully melt your chocolate. Chop chocolate or add callets to a heavy saucepan, then heat over low heat until almost all melted, then remove from the heat.
Dip each of peppermint shortbread cookies two-thirds of the way into the chocolate, working in batches of five at at time. Shake off the excess chocolate, then place onto a silpat or parchment paper.
Sprinkle peppermint pieces over each of the chocolate dipped shortbread cookies. Gently press the peppermint into the chocolate, then let the chocolate harden completely.
Repeat for the next set of cookies, and continue until all cookies are dipped and pepperminted. Once the chocolate hardens, serve immediately or store for later.
These will keep in a tightly sealed container for three days. You can also freeze them for up to a month if you make them in advance for your own cookie swap.
What is Houseful Of Cookies?
Houseful of Cookies is an annual, virtual cookie hop, hosted by Natasha Nicholes of Houseful of Nicholes. She really likes playing on the “Houseful” theme when there is more than one of something, and since there’s more than one cookie…here we are.
Every year, she gathers to bake up our epic cookie creations and share them with all of you! It’s a fun time, and we all have dealt with butter, flour, and various flavorings to bring you our goodies each year. This year, we present to you, our cookie hop.
Houseful Of Cookies Participants
- Brownie Cookies – Houseful of Nicholes
- Chocolate Rolo Surprise Cookies – Good Girl Gone Redneck
- The Perfect Christmas Sugar Cookies – Love, Jaime
- Cake Mix Santa Cookies – Dairy Carrie
- Candy Cane Cookies – Brooklyn Active Mama
- Gingersnap Cookies – Divas With A Purpose
- Decorated Ugly Sweater Cookies – 100 Directions
- Minnie Christmas Headband Cookies – Cutefetti
- Bird’s Nest Cookies – My Crafty Life
- Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies – Kenya Rae
- Gluten-Free Russian Tea Cakes – Day by Day in Our World
- Molded Peanut Butter Cookies – This Mamas Life
- Not Your Mama’s Milk & Cookies – Life of a Ginger
- Peanut Butter Marshmallow Chocolate Chunk Cookies – Mama Harris’ Kitchen
- Coffee Sandwich Cookies with Browned Buttercream Filling – How Was Your Day?
- Butterscotch Cornflake Cookies – Omadarling
- Coffee Cookies – Someday I’ll Learn
- Toffee Bits Cookies – This Worthey Life
- Fruitcake Cookies – Sugar, Spice, & Glitter
- Keto Almond Joy Cookies – The Crunchy Mommy
For the Cookies:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 t salt
- 3/4 c powdered sugar
- 2 c flour
For the Topping:
- 4 oz dark chocolate
- 1 candy cane
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
- Crush candy cane into small pieces.
- Mix butter to incorporate air, then add powdered sugar and salt. Beat, starting on low speed then turning up as sugar incorporates.
- Add flour and mix until incorporated.
- Use hands to squeeze dough into a ball, then turn out onto cookie sheet.
- Gently press dough into a rectangle approximately 9 inches by 13 inches. Lightly roll with a rolling pin to remove fingerprints and ensure dough is an even layer.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and use a pizza wheel to cut into rectangles. Use a fork to prick each rectangle twice.
- Quickly return cookies to oven to bake another 8 minutes, then turn off oven. Crack oven door and let cookies cool for one hour.
- Chop chocolate, and melt over low heat on stove until almost all melted, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and let chocolate finish melting while you carefully break up the cut shortbread cookies.
- Do no more than 5 cookies in a batch, dip cookies one at a time two thirds of the way into the melted chocolate, then place on a silpat or parchment sheet. Sprinkle with crushed peppermint.
- Repeat for remaining cookies, then let chocolate harden.
- Serve immediately, or store in a tightly sealed container up to three days. These freeze up to a month, as well.
- Use high quality chocolate to ensure it melts evenly. Regular chocolate chips do not work well here.
- You will have leftover chocolate after you dip all the cookies. Save it for another project, or make peppermint bark to complement these cookies.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 26 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 137Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 25mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 1g
This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition. If you need exact details, please calculate yourself.
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